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LVI Completes Decommissioning of the University of Arizona Nuclear Research Laboratory
January 3, 2012
Contact: Tom Gilmore
Tucson, AZ – LVI Environmental Services Inc., an operating subsidiary of LVI Services Inc.(LVI), the nation’s leading facility management services company focusing on deconstruction and environmental remediation services, has completed the decommissioning of the University of Arizona’s 52-year-old Nuclear Reactor Laboratory (NRL). The historic NRL facility held the first of more than 60 TRIGA reactors that eventually were built worldwide, largely for research and isotope production. The project’s conclusion was marked by the University’s approval of the Final Status Survey Report and backfill, with concrete, of the reactor pit. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) termination of the reactor license is anticipated in 2012.
In dismantling the TRIGA reactor, all irradiated reactor components and equipment were removed from the pool, including the control rod drives, fuel storage racks, cooling coils and the reactor assembly. After the pool water was drained, filtered and properly dispositioned, the tanks steel and gunite liner, as well as activated portions of the surrounding concrete, were removed and shipped for proper disposal. LVI’s waste minimization emphasis resulted in a reduction to the overall volume of waste requiring disposition through licensed facilities or disposal sites.
Installed in 1958, the light-water reactor was fueled with 20-percent enriched uranium in a zirconium hydride matrix. The 28-inch fuel rods sat in the water-filled tank 21 feet below ground.
Radiation levels in the remaining concrete are well below those required by NRC. Approximately 4,000 square feet of the former reactor and related office space will be available for reuse by the University moving forward.
“LVI has established a distinguished track record within the broad decommissioning arena, including substantial TRIGA reactor dismantlement project activity at research sites nationwide,” said Scott State, LVI President and Chief Executive Officer. “While we are pleased to have completed the project ahead of budget and on-time, we are particularly proud of our superb record of safety on this and similar projects.”
LVI, a New York City-based company, has been awarded similar projects for nuclear reactor removal at the University of Washington and the University of Illinois. They were ably assisted on the project by Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Enercon Services, Inc., which provided management support, waste management and radiation protection services/equipment.
Projects of this nature are dependent for their success on teamwork, coordination and cooperation. These three critical components were exemplified to the highest professional level and were displayed on a daily basis as University of Arizona staff worked in concert with LVI and Enercon to ensure this project’s safe and successful completion.
Since it was founded in 1986, LVI has built a reputation for environmental restoration and structural deconstruction site work with a superb record of safety on commercial and government contracts.
About LVI Services
LVI Services Inc. is the United States’ leading provider of a wide array of integrated facility services, including environmental remediation, demolition, fireproofing and related services for commercial, industrial, multi-family residential and governmental facilities. LVI focuses on projects involving asbestos, lead paint, mold, infection control, hazardous materials, fireproofing, emergency services, disaster response services and demolition. Founded in 1986, LVI has more than 25 offices across the United States, is licensed in every state, and is experienced in responding quickly to natural and man-made disasters. The company’s annual revenues exceed $320 million. For more information, visit www.lviservices.com.